Putnam Lumber and Export Company

putnam lumber

Putnam Lumber Company was organized at Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1900 by William O'Brien and his associates. He and his associates acquired about 300,000 acres of land that had been sold by the State of Florida. Originally Putnam Lumber Company was formed as a timber holding company and did not undertake manufacturing operations until 1919. The vast timberlands in Florida contained longleaf yellow pine and deep swamp tidewater red cypress stands of trees.

1919 - Sawmill operations begins.

In 1919 the company leased the old Cummer Lumber Co. mill at Jacksonville, Florida and began lumber manufacturing operations. The company continued its manufacturing operations at the leased sawmill until 1928, when at that time moved all operations to a newly constructed pine and cypress manufacturing operations in Shamrock, Florida. While the new sawmill was being constructed, the company also established an office in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to enhance its relations with its export clients in the Caribbean.

1928 - Construction of new cypress and pine sawmill is complete in Shamrock, Florida.

The company began annual production of 40,000,000 feet of deep swamp tidewater red cypress and 100,000,000 feet of dense Florida longleaf yellow pine from the new sawmill in Shamrock, Florida. At this time, the company has established a robust export trade in which the Shamrock sawmill and other sawmills in the Gulf Coast supplied orders for clients throughout the Caribbean.

1945 - Putnam Lumber and Export Company is founded by J. Ellis Crosby.

The company continued its sawmill operations and produced many hundreds of millions of feet of Long Leaf Yellow Pine and Tidewater Red Cypress throughout the years. In 1945, Putnam Lumber Company was nearing the end of its sawmill operations and changed its focus to the export trade in the United Kingdom, European and Caribbean lumber markets. At this time, Putnam Lumber and Export Company of Jacksonville, Florida was formed by J. Ellis Crosby. Prior to forming Putnam Lumber & Export Company, J. Ellis Crosby served for twenty-seven years as sales manager of Putnam Lumber Company.

Photos of Putnam Lumber Company in Early 1900's

Video of Logging in Taylor and Dixie Counties 1937 (circa)

Back to the Gallery page

Back to Dixie County Links

Help Us

We are looking for historical photos, articles, documents, letters, etc., related to Dixie county or any of the towns within the county. Please use the contact page to reach us. Thank you!
Dixie County Historical Society
761 SE Highway 349
Old Town, FL  32680
Phone: (352) 542-0047
E-mail: Contact Us!